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First Harrison Gray Otis House

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1795–1797, Charles Bulfinch. 141 Cambridge St.
  • First Harrison Gray Otis House

The first of three houses that Charles Bulfinch designed within ten years for Harrison Gray Otis, a prominent lawyer and member of Congress, the house has served as the headquarters of Historic New England, Inc. (originally the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) since 1916. A meticulously researched and restored house museum, the building retains many features of the elegant Federal-style architecture preferred by Boston's elite in the opening years of the Republic. The vibrantly colored interiors include one of the earliest second-floor drawing rooms in the area. A crisp brick box punctuated with stone band courses and lintels, the First Harrison Gray Otis House is one of the few freestanding late-eighteenth-century houses remaining in Boston and one of few buildings on the north side of Cambridge Street that escaped demolition when the West End was razed in 1958.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "First Harrison Gray Otis House", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 96-96.

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